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Balenciaga Sues North Six Production Company Over Controversial Ad Campaign

Balenciaga Sues North Six Production Company Over Controversial Ad Campaign
Balenciaga is suing North Six, the production company that created its controversial ad campaigns, and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins for no less than AU$37 million.

Balenciaga is suing North Six, the production company that managed the logistics for its controversial ad campaign, and set designer Nicholas Des Jardins for no less than AU$37 million.

Update: 12.03 pm 28/11/2022 with clarification on North Six’s role in the campaigns

The campaigns attracted attention on Twitter last week, as users pointed out the distasteful images.

One campaign saw children holding plush bear bags which were clad in bondage-style outfits replete with leather harnesses. The advert for the Spanish fashion house’s Spring 2023 including a page from a US Supreme Court decision prohibiting the pandering of child pornography.

North Six did not produce the teddy bear ad campaign. However, it did manage the logistics for the Spring 23 collection with the office business theme.

the brand “Balenciaga” just did a uh….. interesting… photoshoot for their new products recently which included a very purposely poorly hidden court document about ‘virtual child porn’

normal stuff

— shoe (@shoe0nhead) November 21, 2022

The court filings say that Balenciaga wants to “seek redress for extensive damages [they] caused in connection with an advertising campaign Balenciaga hired them to produce.”

The company claims that, without its knowledge or authorisation, the defendants “included certain documents in the campaign photographs.” Adidas, who was a collaborator in one of the campaigns, is not being sued by Balenciaga.

“Members of the public, including the news media, have falsely and horrifically associated Balenciaga with the repulsive and deeply disturbing subject of the court decision,” read the court filing. As a result, the defendants are liable for “all harm resulting from this false association.” This includes monetary damages of “no less than AU$37 million.”

Balenciaga had previously apologised for the campaign and said it took the matter “very seriously.” However, the press materials that accompanied the campaign launch said that it “iterates on the artist’s series Toy Stories, an exploration of what people collect and receive as gifts.”

Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti, who shot the campaigns, said that he could not comment on Balenciaga’s choices, but he “was not entitled in whatsoever manner to neither chose [sic] the products, nor the models, nor the combination of the same. As a photographer, I was only and solely requested to lit [sic] the given scene, and take the shots according to my signature style. As usual, the direction of the campaign and of the shooting are not on the hands of the photographer.”

Balenciaga and North Six have not commented on the lawsuit.

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